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Every sales team has them: sales reps who consistently miss their quota, don’t appear motivated, or, when you try to help them, do better for a while and then drop back down into underperformance. As a manager or business owner, it’s frustrating trying to get these underperforming reps to do better. And as a sales rep, it’s also frustrating not making quota and being under the gun all the time. What can you do about it? Read on, I’ve got some suggestions for you.
To start with, I’d like to share a somewhat shocking study with you. In their book, “How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer,” Herb Greenberg, Harold Weinstein and Patrick Sweeney compared results from hundreds of thousands of assessments that were conducted over several decades with actual sales performance measurements and concluded:
I don’t know about you, but when I read those statistics I almost fell off my chair. As I thought about it, though, I began to compare those results with my actual experience. I work with a lot of companies and a lot of sales teams, and as I’ve written over and over again, almost all sales teams have the 80/20 rule going on: the Top 20% of the producers are usually generating about 80% of the revenue and income, while the bottom 80% are struggling to make quota.
And isn’t that true in your sales organization as well? If you’re like many inside sales teams, you’re constantly trying to get your underperformers to produce more, but how much real success do you have? Again, sad to say, many bottom 80% producers simply don’t improve that much and that’s why most companies are constantly hiring and replacing reps. When you look at it that way, the numbers from the conclusion above begin to make sense…
OK, so what’s the solution? I mean, you can’t just fire 55% of your sales team.
Here they are:
The solution is to take the time to develop a “Defined Sales Process” by identifying what steps 80% of your successful sales go through and defining the best practices at every step of this sales cycle. Once you have defined your best practice sales process, you need to:
You see, before you can properly evaluate who can make it and who can’t, you have to give them the training on your best practices first. Only then will you be in a position to know who has the talent, motivation and work ethic to succeed in your sales environment.
The good news once again is that after about 90 days of measuring, coaching and managing reps to adhere to your new best practice sales process, you’ll have a very clear idea of who is going to make it and who isn’t. At this point you can begin replacing those reps who clearly won’t.
There is obviously a lot that goes into building this kind of structure, but it’s well worth the time and effort. In fact, according to CSOInsights.com, sales teams that have and follow a “Defined Sales Process” average more than 33% in production and revenue than sales teams that don’t. 33% – now that’s significant! Just ask yourself how much that would mean to you and your company’s bottom line.
About the author
Do you have an underperforming inside sales team? Talk to Mike to see how he can help you and your team reach your revenue goals. To learn more about Mike, visit his website: http://www.MrInsideSales.com